Occupy Greensboro Events
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G.A. Meeting Minutes 11.11.11

Facilitator: Zack

[Participants gathered in a circle and began a casual discussion.  Media group did a report back.  Then some individuals called for the official G.A. to begin.  Zack was nominated, and accepted the Facilitation position.
There was some back and forth about the order of the agenda.  Participants gave a mix of announcements, agenda items/proposals]

 

Announcements:

We need those that video taped the 11.11.11 Bank Foreclosure and Zombie March to send the video to WFMY as they requested.

 

We need childcare and carpooling for Sunday 11.13.11  Mia & Jeremy have offered to bottom-line this.

 

OccupyCharlotte has been requesting help for weeks, they may be forcibly removed from public land just in time for a city ordinance preventing camping to be put into place.

 

No Foreclosure Group representative present to report back.

 

OccupyUNCG representative, Tim, attended the G.A. tonight.  Wanted to make contact and invite us to their meeting on Sun 11.13.11 @ 6pm (location TBD)
The idea of offering our resources to them online was brought up, but it was determined (NO CONSENSUS VOTE TAKEN) that we did not want to step on OUNCG toes and we would wait for them to reach-out to us.

 

The CEO of Wells FArgo will be in Winston-Salem to talk to the Chamber of Commerce at the end of the month.  More research will be done to determine if this event is actionable.

Proposals:

(CONSENSUS REACHED)Emily proposes that we write personal statements about our thoughts on the Duke Energy Rate Hike and deliver them to to the Utilities Commission on 11/28/11.  Email statements to dnbemiley@gmail.com

 

It was determined (NO CONSENSUS VOTE TAKEN) that we need more info about the Wells Fargo CEO event.  Julie Kimmel  will bottom-line this.

It was determined (NO CONSENSUS VOTE TAKEN) that we need more information about the needs of other Occupy groups before we decide how to help them.
Tim has offered to bottom-line a “field trip” to the other NC sites to make personal contact with them.

 

OccupyCharlotte:  Mo Kessler will bottom-line making contact with them and setting up communications for their imminent removal from public property as well as for the Democratic National Convention 2012.

 

The Media Group had several preliminary proposals.  Some were put on the back-burner by those proposing in order to gather more information.
-proposed regular/monthly focus or theme.  It was determined (NO CONSENSUS VOTE TAKEN) that this was not a good idea.
-proposed yard signs idea.  There was confusion and concern about the idea of using group funds vs. private funds, concern about who would make the signs, concerns about selling the signs (anti-capitalist sentiment).  It was determined (NO CONSENSUS VOTE TAKEN) that more information was needed in order to decide.  Though, it was made clear that Individuals are free to make any signs they want.

Next G.A. Sunday

11/8 General Assembly

11/8 GA

Report Backs:

Media Group: the voter guide leak. Asks for autonomy for certain issues.

Foreclosure demonstration on 11/11 at Bank of America on Green Valley: Moratorium on Foreclosures
and integrated Zombie march.

Banks have been engaged in criminal activity and have been working with states to be granted immunity in exchange for monetary relief. The demonstration will highlight the crimes of banks and push Attorney general Roy Cooper to not grant immunity.

Trip to Raleigh will be highlighted at demonstration and will attempt to work with Occupy Raleigh.

Unemployed/Underemployed organizational meeting on Thur 11/9 @ 6:00pm. There are 14,000 unemployed/underemployed in our area. Try to gather support.

Teach-in on Greensboro Massacre on Thur 11/9 from 3pm-5pm @ interestion of Everette & Mcconnell Rd.

Last call for stuff from Todd Warren’s trailer.


Occupy Charlotte holds demonstrations every Saturday at Bank of America. Should/could we join up?

Final Duke Energy hearing in Raleigh 11/28 at 1:00pm. Attn. Gen. Roy Cooper will be in attendance. Should we attend?

Occupy Spartanburg / GOP debate on Friday.

Choreography and song lesson for Saturday Bank of America demonstration before demonstration. 2:00pm on Saturday. Zombie makeup session will coincide.

Al mentioned that 1,000,000 people have closed accounts at major banks.

OccupyUNCG is acting in solidarity with Occupy Greensboro but is not a part. OccupyUNCG
will be hosting a speak out at “the rock” on campus. Monday, 2:00pm.

“What is the big picture?” for Occupy Greensboro: to be discussed in entirely at Sunday GA.

Proposals:
Moveon.org: “we are 99%” day. Gather at failed business/crumbling bridges/schools to reveal local symptoms of a failed economy.
This is surrounding issues of the super committee and its pending announcement. Moveon.org wants to host a demonstration in response to neglected areas on 11/17.

Proposal is for temporary alliance with moveon.org (Guilford chapter) to organize and demonstrate the 11/17 event.

Issues:
Concern over moveon.org agenda and political leaning.
Concern with becoming attached to moveon.org in public view. “birds of a feather”

Ideas:
We can support actions without having to support entire organizations.
Ensure all signs have “occupygreensboro.org” emblazoned.

CONSENSUS REACHED: Occupy Greensboro will appear and members can aid in organizing 11/17 demonstration.

Media Autonomy:

GA’s happen on set time. News and press releases happen in realtime. In order for the media group to facilitate the wishes of the GA consensus, they asked to be granted autonomy in three instances:

1.    Event Announcements or reiterating/releasing previously consensed upon material or instances. Reaffirming consensus to readdress issues. (CONSENSUS REACHED)
2.    Correcting published mistakes or inaccurate reporting (CONSENSUS (semi)REACHED, pending further converstation.)

3.    Website moderation against trolles, spam, etc… (CONSENSUS REACHED, publish a Terms of Service which reflects the ground rules applied to GA. These are the rules which will define our online media.)

Point 1: Knowledge about facts and consensus of the GA should be clearly and accurately reflected in GA notes. The media group should refer to these notes and the consensus decisions held therein when creating content for press releases.

A point was raised to ensure press releases remain subjective and in no way alienate members of Occupy Greensboro or the public in general.

Point 2: The conversation about media group answering corrections or that of individuals answering corrections passed on the basis that the conversation continue at Sunday’s GA.

Point 3: Website moderation will not engage cencorship, but will uphold the ground rules defined by the GA. There is to be a Terms of Service posted on the website which reflects those rules. Oppresive speech is defined and not tolerated.

It was agreed that the leaked voter guide and media issues in general highlights a need to discuss open/more frequent communication between the working groups within themselves and the greater GA in general. This discussion will continue at Sunday’s GA.


“Jobs for Justice” meeting on Tues. 11/15 at CWA Hall. A coalition of community and labor organizations will be speaking to help build relationship with community. OccupyGreensboro will be in attendence. CONSENSUS REACHED.


Greensboro Mural Project will be hosting a discussion at the mural on Sat. at 1:00pm. The mural is on Lindsay Street at the Greensboro Children’s Museum. The mural’s subject is “What would healthy Greensboro look like?” and the topic will explore how Occupy Greensboro fits into the mural theme. CONSENSUS REACHED


Art & Literature Magazine
A new working group will form to create an Occupy Greenboro Art & Lit magazine. The first meeting of the group will discuss logistics. All submissions are welcome. CONSENSUS REACHED.

Candidate Information for City of Greensboro by a couple members of the Media Group

A member of the  Media Group has composed some opinions on tomorrow’s candidates.  This IS NOT an endorsement that has reached consensus within the General Assembly.

 

Based on our attendance at candidate’s forums, readings of the candidates’ websites, personal conversations, and review of printed material in local periodicals, these are our picks for City Council. We feel, based on the candidates’ positions on economic inequality, local job creation, support for local small business development, records on human relations issues, position on the White Street Landfill, and other issues, that these candidates will best represent the positions of the Occupy Greensboro movement: addressing the gap between wealthy and poor; representing the voters and not the corporations; addressing social injustice; and improving civil rights for all residents of Greensboro.

 

Mayor:

 

We aren’t really thrilled with either choice. Fiscal Conservative, former CPA Bill Knight has clearly proven to be in the pocket of developers and social conservatives in North West Greensboro. He has repeatedly represented their interests over those of the 99%. His key position appears to be in opposition of any raise in taxes or water rate hikes to off-set the declining City revenues (tax re-evaluation is next year and it does not look good). Meanwhile, under his watch we have lost first City Manager Mitchell Johnson and now Rashad Young. As a cost-cutting measure, Knight was in favor of re-opening the White Street landfill against the will of the residents of the neighborhood in which it was located.

 

Robbie Perkins, while a commercial real estate broker and long-time politician in Greensboro, has come down against the landfill and is a proponent of a regional solution to waste. He also favors investment in infrastructure and has supported regional public transportation. His rhetoric reflects the sentiment of many Occupiers’ “We want to try to create the kind of jobs that are going to be a living wage for people because it’s awfully hard to live off of minimum wage. You can’t work enough hours in the day to do that. So we’ve got to create the kind of jobs that are going to pay reasonable money so that you can support your families and keep a little bit for retirement.” (Campaign speech as quoted in Yes! Weekly 10/5/2011)


 

District 1:

Donnell ‘D.J.’ Hardy is opposed to the White Street Landfill, for equitable services and infrastructure in his district, and has an interesting idea regarding City sponsored venture capital incubators for innovative local companies. While we don’t think Hardy is a bad candidate, he is up against a formidable challenger. Incumbent T. Diane Bellamy-Small, is one of the few sitting City Council representatives who we want to see back. She is a nonprofit executive, has served on the School Board, and has been active in local politics for a long time. She led the initiative to develop the Interactive Resource Center for homeless persons and long championed an economic parity plan for East Greensboro. She wants to see investment in education and the human capital of Greensboro residents. She says, “we have and have had the opportunity to be greater than we are, if we would stop acting like a small Southern town” (Yes! Weekly 7/25/2011).

 


District 2:

According to a 2009 interview, developer and incumbent City Council candidate Jim Kee has “a personal investment of more than $2 million in the district” (Greensboro News and Record 09/10/2009). He opposes the landfill and has emphasized economic development for his area. He supported the RUCO program to improve rental stock in Greensboro. He also states that “the most pressing problem is unemployment” (Yes! Weekly 9/28/2011). His challenger, Clarence Bradley Hunt, a student at NC A&T University, holds similar issues on many of the key issues. Hunt however, has disagreed with Kee over issues regarding the Greensboro Police Department and backs a citizen’s review committee that would have the power to subpoena witnesses. Both we feel have strong positions and research the issues carefully. Hunt is young and shows his inexperience in basing most of his campaign on ad hominem attacks of Kee rather than explaining the differences between his positions. However, we still have reservations that Kee represents the political interests of developers over the common folk.

 



District 3:

Jay Ovittore has worked on the Human Relations Commission, oversaw the subcommittee that reported the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing in Greensboro, and has been a longstanding supporter of the now-suspended Rental Unit Certificate Advisory Board (RUCO). Like Hardy he wants to see incentives given to small entrepreneurs and business owners. He is backed by labor unions, and has worked as a consumer lobbyist. He is strongly aainst contributions from developers and corporations, “The fact that I’m not owned and operated by local real estate developers. I find it unethical that real estate developers donate to some candidates and then come before those same candidates and ask for rezoning favors. It seems like our local politics has become pay to play”(Yes! Weekly 11/08/2011). Zack Matheny, on the other hand, is employed by Bell Properties which builds large luxury apartments. He thinks that the police have had a good relationship with the public. Matheny has had a conflict of interest in the landfill issue as the company he works for has an economic stake in the outcome (News and Record 4/28/2011). He was a supporter of the $12 million Aquatics Center He is also part of the faction (including Knight, Wade, Rakestraw) who moved public speakers from the floor to the end of City Council meeting.

 

 


District 4:

This district is one of the most contested and we cannot understand why. A few minutes listening to Rakestraw speak and you can clearly see that anyone would be a better choice. She offended many in the audience of a recent candidate’s forum when she said that Greensboro has no race relations problems. Nancy Hoffman is the only choice in this district. While she does come off a slick corporate head-hunter, has twenty-two years of experience in marketing and management for a number of corporations, and is well accustomed to working with the top 1%, she has established a good track record as Chair of the Greensboro Human Relations Commission and Chair of the Complaint Review Committee. More importantly, she is not Mary Rakestraw who has proven to be in the pocket of real estate developers and in denial about racial division within the City.

 


District 5:

Trudy Wade clearly does not represent the will of the people. Along with Rakestraw and Knight , she has set the City back decades in race relations favoring the White Street landfill and again opposing any tax rate increases or improvements to the infrastructure. Jorge Cornell obviously represents the voiceless, the wrongfully accused, and those who are constantly harassed by the police. However, as much as I like Cornell’s affability and agree with his positions on unjust immigration laws and racial profiling by City police, it is hard to look past affiliations and lack of political experience. Time will tell if he is sincere and has the ability to produce viable alliances with other groups around the city.

 


At-Large:

There is a field of five at-large candidates. We quickly eliminate Chris Lawyer, a physician’s assistant who is inexperienced in politics, has not participated in local civic leadership, is in support of re-opening the White Street Landfill, and is yet another fiscal conservative favoring privatization of such public trusts as the Farmers Curb Market. We can also eliminate incumbent Danny Tompson who also supported the Landfill and keeping the tax rate flat. Nancy Vaughn’s website doesn’t seem to offer much information (it still says “coming soon”). She’s been endorsed by Yes! Weekly and the News and Record and seems to fall on the side of the people most of the time. She is a centrist and not a bad choice, but in terms of representing the 99%, we have better choices.

 

  • Wayne Abraham who has a history of support for improving race relations (Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina). He also wants more local control and for renters: “RUCO was an excellent program. It reduced our substandard housing by 80 percent, which helped all of us with the value of our own homes. We lost this program because our current city council refused to defend our right to local control.”(Yes! Weekly 08/29/2011). He has backed long-term visions of the community that include a sustainability plan which incentives green building. He also wants speakers from the floor moved back to before meetings. Moreover he supports LGBT Community: “He has also served as a strong advocate for the Greensboro LGBT Community. Wayne was appointed to the Human Relations Commission by the Greensboro City Council and served six years on the commission. During his tenure on the commission, Wayne was instrumental in getting the city of Greensboro to offer domestic partner benefits to its LGBT employees.”(Yes! Weekly 11/2/2011).

 

  • Marikay Abuzuaiter is a small business owner who has been very involved in the international community of Greensboro and she has had a positive impact on the community-at-large. She is against the landfill and for the environmental sustainability. Marikay is the International Advisory Committee Chair as well as past Vice-chair of the Human Relations Commission. She has also been instrumental in making sure that the issues and concerns of our international residents have been brought before our City Council. Moreover, Abuzuaiter is one of us! She has been at many of the Occupy Greensboro events and General Assemblies.

 

  • We liked Yvonne Johnson as mayor and certainly back her as a voice of the people in the 2011 at-large race. She has a long history as a community activist working on issues of social justice, arts, women’s issues, poverty, etc. She is opposed to the White Street Landfill (preferring a high-tech solution that would convert waste into energy – a plan heard to be supported by Ovittore as well), backed the RUCO program, and has proven to favor infrastructure development but also fiscal responsibility. She prefers infill over further urban sprawl and supports affordable housing programs as well as mixed use neighborhood planning.

 

____________________________________________

11-1-11 Meeting Minutes

**Tuesday’s GA began the important discussion of how we proceed after our time at the YWCA comes to an end.  Due to the small number of people who attended, consensus was taken on some points, to get the temperature of the group that was present, but it was agreed that many important issues were raised which require broader discussion.  The sense from the meeting on Tuesday was that discussion will continue on these issues on Friday.

Summary of Consensus Points:

  • Agreement to postpone finding a new camp site.  Agreement to use Al’s bookstore in the meantime (Glenwood Coffee and Books at Grove and Glenwood Streets).
  • Agreement to continue discussion of camping issues at Friday’s General Assembly.  (It was asked that it be emphasized that if you care about these issues, there will be more discussion, so please come on Friday 6:30-8:30.)
  • Agreement to continue the discussion of how to include homeless folks once the YWCA site is decamped.  Please bring proposals to Friday’s General Assembly.
  • Agreement that tomorrow will be clean up day at camp.  Please come volunteer any time before tomorrow’s march.
  • Agreement that December 10th is a tentative date for the Underemployment March, but also that the march group will take into account questions about the date, and come back to the group later.
  • Agreement to have a celebratory dance party Friday after the General Assembly.

 Minutes

Dates and times for meetings and events are in bold.
Needs for specific materials are underlined.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

There’s a group working on actions around foreclosures.

  • They met with a local housing advocate recently, who works with Guilford County Self Help.  They work with people to avoid foreclosure through loan modification.
  • The group also met with Jeff Thigpen, our Register of Deeds.  He’s working on something called the Robo-signing controversy.  He’s 1 of 2 Register of Deeds in the nation who’s working on suing banks over this convroversy.
  • The group recognizes that both of these folks/organizations are good at what they do.  And that we have heat, fire, and people power, so they’re working on what we can do to support them.
  • There’s a rally on the 11th at Bank of America on Green Valley.
  • Group is working with local housing advocate to find a family to work with, who is facing foreclosure, so that we can protest and work to stop the foreclosure.  There are already some people lined up.
  • Part of the idea is to build strategies that could be replicable around the nation.
  • Two meetings: Strategy Planning Thursday evening @ 8:00 pm at Al’s Bookstore
  • Also Tuesday morning @ 8:30 am at Spring Garden Bakery
  • Question about what Robo-signing is.
  • Answer: It’s a small part of the mortgage crisis.  Banks traded titles… There are examples where someone supposedly signed documents, but there are twenty different signatures that all look different.  So people aren’t actually signing the documents, and this is something that used to be a long process, but now they’re doing thousands of these per day.  So Jeff Thigpen is looking for a way to stop foreclosures through this.
  • Suggestion of an information pamphlet about robo-signing.  Response that that’s exactly what the group is talking about on Thursday evening.
  • Jane Parker and Will Shuford have experience with this stuff, but the group is also looking for folks that have finance backgrounds to do a teach-in.

The art team is meeting at 2:15 on Friday, at camp, to prep folks for the Zombie March. 

  • They will be doing zombie makeovers.  Please bring corporate clothes that can be torn up.  But the art team will also bring some, and will be bringing fake blood, etc.
  • The march is at 4 pm on Friday.  Walking down Summit to Greene, past Wells Fargo, down February One, stopping at Bank of America, have flyers to hand out.
  • Also the idea of eating money, eating deeds, having people dressed in cardboard houses running away from the zombies.
  • There will be credit union flyers to hand out with info.
  • Question about why zombies.
  • Answer: The idea is that corporate zombies are feeding on our resources.  It’s also in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, which has done similar things.
  • Also there’s been a news article about a foreclosure firm hosting parties where people dress up as homeless people—a reason to protest.

Credit union event being organized for November 5th  @ 1-3 pm. 

  • Host a credit union forum in the Nussbaum room at the Library.  Event about how can we move our money, what are the beneifts of credit unions.
  • Not a lot of response from credit unions so far, probably because they’re usually closed on Saturdays.  But the event will happen regardless.

Morning of November 5th @ 11 am there’s a MoveOn event at Bank of America to protest foreclosures.  They need help marshalling people, it would be great to get people out there.

Underemployment March

  • Meeting to discuss underemployment march @ 1:00 pm on Sunday, location TBA, tentatively Spring Garden Bakery (was going to be Green Bean, but because of recent controversy, going to move locations).
  • Proposal for March on December 10th.

Tomorrow is a march in support of the General Strike responding to police brutality at Occupy Oakland.  March starts at 5:30 in Governmental Plaza.  Will wind up here at the camp.

  • Dinner tomorrow after the march is a potluck.  Please bring food!!  Working groups will be meeting.
  • Leaflets printed up for tomorrow’s event.  Look like $100 bills, have a breakdown of wealth in the US, “Top 1% by the numbers” on the back.  There’s a PDF for these, and the message on the back can also be changed for future events.

Announcement that we really need help cleaning up the kitchen area.

 

PROPOSALS

  1. Al from Glenwood Coffee and Books has offered his site to be a central location for Occupy after we decamp from the YWCA.  His offer does not include camping or cooking, because he is not zoned for either.  He’s offering the group access to both the front and back rooms, from 9 am to 9 pm daily.  It’s warm there, and there’s coffee.
  2. We need to have the camp area cleaned, please come by tomorrow morning/afternoon and volunteer.  See Tina.  Let’s leave the area cleaner than we found it.
  3. The YWCA camp is closing Sunday at Noon.  Proposal that we wait on finding a next spot for camping, and give ourselves time to talk about what we’ve done well, and what our next steps are.
  4. December 10th as the date for the Underemployment march.
  5. Dance party on Friday after the GA to celebrate, to include a discussion of safety/consent.

 

DISCUSSION OF PROPOSALS

PROPOSALS #1 and #3 Discussion opened up for postponing any new camping site discussion.  (And discussion included proposal to use Al’s, since proposals were related.)

  • Suggestion that we do an action or event before decamping here, and that there’s a press release to the media about what we’re doing, so that people know it’s not over.
  • Many people in occupy have homes, it’s cold, people might not have insurance and can’t afford to get sick, so these are practical matters to consider in a discussion of camping.
  • Concern that we don’t want to undermine folks who are looking for next camping sites, but aren’t at this meeting, don’t want to undermine them by making decisions tonight.
  • We need some way of promoting ourselves, maybe a potluck at Al’s.
  • Decamping is not a retreat, we’ve had three weeks of continuous action, it’s been tremendous, but there’s also been a tremendous outpouring of energy.  There’s a next phase that we have to be prepared for.  We should have strategies and be intentional about our next step.

2 ideas to test for consensus:

  1. Postpone discussion until someone who’s been looking for new sites can come
  2. Postpone finding a new camping site until we can reflect and plan

Point of process:  Add that even if we decide we’re not ready to make a decision, we’re having the conversation.

Test for consensus on #1.

One down thumb: Why do we need to wait for someone?  If we agree to postpone finding a new camp site, do we need to wait for those who are looking for new sites?

Responses:

  • There was a guy on Friday who was bottomlining the search for new sites, and he had stated he wouldn’t be here tonight.
  • There’s a group working on new camp sites, and they’re meeting tomorrow at 2 pm.
  • The next GA is larger, more people will be there, more opportunity to give an opinion.
  • Support for the proposal to move back into Al’s, but awareness that a bunch of people aren’t here tonight.  Lots of people are at UNCG doing an event.

More discussion:

  • Idea that we could work toward a sense of the GA on this issue, which we could take into the next GA, aside from making any decisions.
  • Totally fine with that idea, but it’s also time sensitive.  Re-emphasize that we’re decentralized, so people could camp if they want to.  What’s great about Al’s is it gives us, like the encampment, a where and a when to meet.  So he’s offering us a middle ground.
  • Regrouping is not a bad word, it’s about what worked and what didn’t.  It takes time and money to run a camp.  We could have a smaller permanent encampment.
  • Question for clarification, is Al’s place being offered as a space for meetings?
  • Yeah, central place for meeting, also for sign making, storing tools, a completely open space.  Only reason we couldn’t do camping or cooking is the zoning.
  • Liking the idea of regrouping.  When we first started that first march was an action that brought in more people.
  • It’s great Al has made space available, maybe we could also do one GA per week in a different location, to make GAs more accessible.
  • We could do short actions and encampments, it’s really cold, and we need strategies to deal with that.  Is that the energy we want to use?  We don’t have Wall Street here.  They have a really distinct reason for camping.
  • We could camp for shorter times.  Hook up with other local occupy groups and camp with them, ways to build more solidarity with them.
  • Corporations and banks are praying for cold weather.  This is a strong movement with external activity, it’s hard to maintain that level of activity when trying to stay warm.  Making visible the process of foreclosing on people in December in the cold.
  • Idea of something US Uncut did, walking into Bank of Americas and handing out pamphlets to customers.
  • Having events, specific events.  It’s really hard to feed people.
  • Although liking the idea of camping, even if we’re not here, doing a bunch of stuff.  Maybe having a ride share network to get to future GAs.
  • We need to know if we have other places to camp.
  • Agreement to continue discussion on Friday.  (Consensus)
  • Postponing camp we are allowing to move forward.  Also consensus to use Al’s temporarily.  (BUT, there will be more discussion of this on Friday.)
  • Question, folks who are homeless, how will they be able to follow the movement after decamping?
  • Response, we’re decamping because we’re coordinating with the YWCA, and they have a Winter Emergency program for women, which is in cooperation with organizations like Urban Ministry, it’s important that they have this space be safe for them.
  • Folks who are using this space for shelter.  What about homeless folks who are occupying?  How are they going to keep up?
  • A lot of homeless people here who have questions, want to get involved, and enjoy camp life.  They have a lot of good things to offer.  Figuring out how to involve them in actions.  Assisting people who are homeless.  What do we need to do to get info to people who are homeless?
  • 2 things.  When we close down camp on Sunday, we’ll still be deciding what to do.  It’s a great point about homeless folks, and folks from Occupy are working with IRC, maybe that’s a way to keep people updated on next steps and how to plug in.
  • Movement to put this on the agenda for next meeting—continuing presence.
  • Maybe people can give rides to homeless folk.  We don’t want to leave people out.
  • Ways to communicate.  Flyers or info handed out at Center City Park or somewhere to communicate with homeless folks.  Some means of phsyically disseminating information.
  • Idea of other locations for GAs, maybe the IRC would be one, to directly involve homeless folks.
  • If we want a way to have a continued presence, folks have talked about getting tired and going home, homeless people don’t have that luxury.  And they specialize in that kind of tenacity.  They’re already occupying Greensboro.
  • Consensus approved to continue this discussion on Friday.  Bring proposals.

PROPOSAL #2, Camp cleanup.

  • Wednesday morning until end of march is cleaning time.  Please bring rakes and brooms.
  • Question:  When is trash day?
  • Movement to have a meeting about trash situation, can we take trash somewhere else.
  • Idea that we could go to Summit Station and ask about a dumpster.  Don’t put trash in library dumpsters that are near YWCA, we know that for sure we can’t do.
  • Bottom liner for trash cleanup tomorrow:  Maia  336-392-6059
  • Can everybody take a couple bags tonight.
  • Emphasize that at Friday’s GA we’re going to talk about these things—issues of camping/decamping, etc., so if you care about these issues, there will be more discussion, so please come.

PROPOSAL #4 December 10th for Underemployment March.

  • Happens to also be International Human Rights Day.
  • Is it a holiday?
  • Agreement that December 10th is a tentative date, but the march group will take these things into account.

PROPOSAL #5 Dance party.

  • Can we make it a cleaning party and a dance party?
  • Perhaps have a local band.
  • Security needs.
  • Police are around and know what’s going on.
  • We can just do it the same way we do all our other events, which is to assume good intent.
  • Julia will bottomline dance party: juliamkimmel@gmail.com.
  • Dance party needs speakers.
  • Question: We’re decamping Sunday at noon, so will GA still be here?
  • Response:  Yes, GA will be here after tent removal before noon, and Val’s revisioning session will be here too.
  • This was a great meeting, can we just clap for that?  There was applause.  Meeting closed.

Collected Stories from 10/15/11 courtesy of Susan

The People’s Stories – October 15, 2011
Volume 1:

(child)
I am here because I wanted to protest. Ha-ha. I am the 99%.

 

I am so glad for this action. Greensboro needs more democratic outdoor spaces to have un-policed activities. We should do this “occupy” all over Greensboro so that people can see how many different kinds of people the city is made of.  I salute us!

 

As more join the struggle, unknowingly, unwantingly, we find a solace in the journey. Our collective misfortunes is our united strength. With our voices, our compassion, and our hearts we CAN make sure the people and the soul of our country, can once again flourish… WE HAVE THE POWER. COMPASSION FOR 100%.

I am an artist with a Master’s in Fine Arts. Altruistically I followed higher education and now have huge debts that are in forbearance and accumulating interest. I make my money as a self- employed carpenter. I am thankful that my basic needs are being met but I kind of expected more out of my education.

 

I was homeless and unemployed for a year and a half. I have gone weeks without eating. I am the 99%.

 

I am a teacher and a student. While tuition rises every year, my pay remains the same. Meanwhile the dean voted to give herself a raise. I know I am lucky that my husband and I are both work and don’t have to worry too much about money. We haven’t had a vacation in forever, could never afford children and I see my student’s families struggling to get by. We are the 99%.

 

Many libertarians and conservatives say we should vote and not act for our own interests. Well, I am a student. I work part-time. I hate corruption. I am the 99% and voting for the interests of the 99%. All the 99%.

 

Educate yourself. Educate your children. Educate all. We were here for all. WTSU BAM

I am a post-graduate who is currently unable to obtain that career that was mythically there for me at the end of my college experience.  Through my desires and historical interests I know that my dead end or lucky break is subjective or co-circumstance.  Capitalism is our objective social relationship we all live with and it operates against our interests as workers. I am for worker’s power.

I am here to support this movement to create change that will ultimately lead to a move from dominator-model society to a partnership-model society. Working together instead of competing and dominating mean everybody wins.

End of volume I.

Volume 2

 

2 BA degrees and a minor, 1 associate of arts degree, worked my way thru college as a waitress. The summer of 1998 I began waitressing, being paid $2.13 an hour by Cracker Barrel. Now, in 2011, I am still waitressing, hoping to more up to management because I cannot find a job in my field. 13 years later, pay for a waitress is still $2.13/hour!!! Out of my tips, I have a percentage taken out for the hosts and the to-go person. The corporate restaurants (w/ the exception of Cracker Barrel) do not want to have to pay chashiers minimum wage, or bus boys minimum wage – so these jobs are now cut and the waitresses are now the cashiers, busboys, and waitress – all the while our wages are still $2.13/hr!

 

Rich husband found another woman and left me. House burned. Husband left me to live in the streets. He is a powerful and rich man. Has now resorted to physical violence to intimidate me as not to give me half of insurance money. My name is on title also. The title at one time disappeared for 3 months. I ‘m homeless, broke and live like a gypsy while he lives in luxury.

 

I’m going to be a teacher and our education system sucks. I am about to graduate and I am terrified as to the state of things but that fear is only motivation for change. I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

 

I am a refugee from Zimbabwe in Africa. When I was considered for resettlement in the U.S.A. sometime late last year I was elated because this meant escaping from undemocratic practices I was exposed to while widening social and economic opportunities. Being a teacher by profession, I hoped for better life out here. However, little did I know that I was born to suffer because all hopes have failed owing to economic difficulties I am subjected to. On arrival I got my academic credentials evaluated and I was lucky to be attested to a holder of a Bachelor of elementary Degree. However, my happiness was short-lived owing to some other hurdles I have to jump before I become a teacher. I have to pass a Praxis Test for teacher licensor which is proving difficult owing to cultural and dialectical issues. As I speak I am a substitute teacher for the Guilford County Schools but face a lot of challenges still. I often fail to go to work because I cannot bring a car for transportation to schools because I am lowly paid. I wish there was a provision for empowering refugees financially so that we may adjust well to our host country. We fail to pay bills and we are frequently served with eviction notices, which further traumatizes us.

 

As a young person in high school I found corporate worlds unbearable and unlivable. I was astonished that so many in our world had resigned to a life of 9-5, which to me is not a life. Therefore, I decided to make a life outdoors by double majoring in business of enviro studies to one day found my own tour guiding business. As a senior and soon to be graduate (Dec. 2011), I have realized that tour guiding and the industry in general are more or less a corporate world with a different name. I really love the outdoors but have a hard time believing I can be in the outdoors constantly and avoid corporate greed, hoarding of money from superiors, and petty theft that create a bigger void between corporate worlds  and a job that breeds love and happiness.

 

As a full time student who has yet to see the real world, I feel wholly unqualified to share “my story.” Yet, I am here because of my grandfather. For 40+ years, this man has worked full time to support a family and to put food on the table. Labeled one of the “rich,” a full 50% of his income goes to support the government and its god-awful programs. Why can’t people just get to work? Why not major in something productive, and get a job in the field? Why not thrive in America, and not leech off of the system? I am a part of the real “99%” – the 99% who is fed up with mob rule taking precedence over true democratic governance. To hell with protesting – go find a damned job!

 

Five years ago my main ambition was to join a graduate program where I could contribute to clinical research. This turned out to be impossible with the resources I had at my disposal. Four years ago my main ambition was to join a lab as an entry-level research assistant, to get into a graduate program. This turned out to be impossible with the resources I had at my disposal. Three years ago my ambition was to save up enough to get back into school as an undergraduate. This turned out to be just barely possible. I am now one injury away from homelessness. I have borrowed as much as I am allowed to. My ambitions have not changed, but they have been delayed into the foreseeable future. My immediate ambition now is to become as employable as possible while making what I can at Jimmy Johns. My ambition is to not be a burden on my friends and family. In five years my immediate goals have gone from contributing to research to avoiding charity. I am 26 years old. I am the 99%.

 

End of volume 2.

Volume 3

 

My husband and I are struggling graduate students with more than $30,000 in student loans. We also have a 2 year old son who we hope will grow up with better opportunities for educational access than we’ve had.

 

My grandparents just paid off my student loans, over 150,000 (how did that happen? Why, I should be grateful), so that I could come out with a Master’s in Architecture. In 2008 I found a job without a problem. My husband and I lived cheap. He’s a contractor and BVAS forced into subcontracting or self employed at the same time I was. We still couldn’t make the bills and pay loans/cc debt. In 2009 I was laid off and a big construction company bought the building we were living in – an apartment complex and microcosm of Durham. (Capstone Corp). A supportive community. We all had to leave b/c they decided it should be student housing. There’s a lot of incongruity in life, my life. I have not found another “permanent” full-time job in my field in so long that my degree hardly matters. I am generally unemployable and as only an intern, without the required experience to practice blah blah blah. My husband and I have found a nice house to rent that, most of the time is in our budget, now that we’ve reduced our expenses. We still have +10,000 in CC debt (paying mins) + 100,000 in my husband’s student debt, hospital bills. We have taken advantage of all the county of Durham Health System has to offer. At times I feel free. I walk dogs for a living. I have a beautiful garden and time to make things which is what I do best. At times I feel suffocated, unable to see an end to the trap constructed from lack of funds. My husband and I have decided not to have children b/c we can’t afford it.

 

I am privileged enough to not be affected by the constant waves of money exploitation, which is why I am here. This is an issue that has and will affect all of us forever. We must unite, no matter who we are, what we do, where we live, what school we have attended, or which job we have. Unite, come together and realize that nothing separates us except numbers on a screen.

 

I’m skeptical. I’m sure it’s because I’m white and constantly in reflection on my position in society trying to obstruct my view of entitlement and innocence. But here, I can’t help but wonder and question the holds the westernized view has placed on Wall Street. The democratic style of rally seeks comfort into the system put in place. White run and ruled, friendly smiles of police infiltrate this happy gathering of entitled protestors. Occupy Wall Street reminds me of realizing the true intentions of the civil War. White people trying to rule other white people, people of color only play out as their pawns. Isn’t it stranger that A&T homecoming is this same weekend? I can’t help but wonder at the coincidence. Occupy your own consciousness, question your identity and humble your heart.

 

I am a handyman, cashier, tutor and college professor, part-time. I work between forty and sixty hours a week and continue to struggle with paying back the student loans that have allowed me to complete my education. I suppose I could have chosen to not complete my education with loans, but that would have meant not completing my education. My landlord has not received rent from me for two years. He knows this, and has not kicked me out on the street. While I cannot say with certainty why he has not evicted me, I suspect it is because he is a kind man who believes in people over profit. I am now and will always be grateful to him.

 

End of Volume 3.

Volume 4

 

When I was living abroad, I went to the dentist because I had a sensitive tooth. I was certain that I needed a filling. The dentist looked at the tooth. He poked it, put chemicals on it, and applied heat to it to see if it was sensitive enough to be a cavity. After 10 minutes of this, he told me that it didn’t seem to be a cavity. I was relieved, but also frustrated that I’d have to pay for a visit that I didn’t need. I mean, in the U.S., you have to pay $50 just to read the waiting room magazines.  “I’m sorry I wasted your time,” I said, “how much do I owe you?” The dentist looked at me like I was slow or something. “But I didn’t do anything,” he said as he showed me out the door. If you can go to the dentist in other countries and not pay an arm and a leg for the most minor procedures, why not in this country?

 

I live in a collective house. My housemate and I have survived by pooling resources, fixing each other’s cars, etc. But I know so many people with health problems who are being bankrupted by our healthcare “system.” Something’s got to be done if we’re going to have a society where people don’t live in fear, financial or otherwise.

 

Creation, The opposite of war. Why we can’t wait for change to consume us. Money, the white man’s deity may soon buy our motivation, selling passion for cheap smiles of defeat. We must transform the system in its entirety. Succumb to the humble beginnings of humanity, self- love and creation.

 

End of Volume 4.
End of stories.

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